"…she believed the whole endeavor was a farce."
This anonymous teacher, a middle-aged White woman who grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, told a story of tangled motivations and constant stress. At the end of it all, she said, she had trouble recognizing herself.
The intense pressure from administrators to raise scores at her former school did indeed contribute to her cheating, she claimed:
"It’s easy to lose your moral compass when you are constantly being bullied."
But she was adamant that she did not care about boosting test scores. Instead, she described her cheating as an act of self-styled subversion, motivated by loyalty to her students.
"I wanted them to succeed, because I believe their continued failure on these terrible tests crushes their spirit," she said…
Almost all of her students were poor and African American. Most, she said, came into 11th grade reading far below grade level and dealing with challenging personal circumstances…
Because her students were so unprepared and the tests so unfair, she believed the whole endeavor was a farce. Given that, she viewed encouraging her students to take the tests seriously as a betrayal of their trust.
Confession of a cheating teacher. Philadelphi Public Schools, The Notebook>>